Learning the art of delegating

delegatingOnce small business owners start to hire employees, the owner should spend time doing the parts of the business that they are good at and they love. Just because someone is good at something, doesn’t mean they like doing it. Business owners always need to be working ON the business as well as IN the business. If you are spending too much time working IN the business, look for areas that you can delegate to your employees.

It’s important to develop a system for keeping track of when a project or task that you have delegated is due. In my experience, if an employee knows that you are going to follow-up on the due date, he/she is more likely to complete the project on time. Delegating implies that more than one person is needed to do the work. Think of it as a hand-off between the parties involved.

The biggest mistake that business owners make when it comes to delegating is doing it on the fly. You run the risk of forgetting what you’ve delegated and the possibility is high that the employee will not understand what you are asking. Other common mistakes include:

  • Unclear about what they want the employee to actually do
  • Lack of follow-up with the employee
  • Delegating something that the employee is not qualified to complete
  • Having unrealistic time frames
  • Being inconsistent with delegating

Many small business owners haven’t had the opportunity to delegate work to others. They are in the habit of doing everything themselves. It takes practice, but learning to delegate is a valuable tool that will help your business grow.

Barney Cohen

President, Business 360 Northwest

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